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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

Written Sketches              241

" The tooth-pick freely " and " the spirit twice a day "
being tags of Mr. Forsyth's, he laughed.

Furber the Violin-Maker

From what my cousin [Reginald E. Worsley] and Gogin
both tell me I am sure that Furber is one of the best men we
have. My cousin did not like to send Hyam to him for a
violin : he did not think him worthy to have one. Furber
does not want you to buy a violin unless you can appreciate
it when you have it. My cousin says of him :

"He is generally a little tight on a Saturday afternoon.
He always speaks the truth, but on Saturday afternoons it
comes pouring out more/1

" His joints [i.e. the joints of the violins he makes] are the
closest and neatest that were ever made."

" He always speaks of the corners of a fiddle; Haweis
would call them the points. Haweis calls it the neck of a
fiddle. Furber always the handle."

My cousin says he would like to take his violins to bed
with him.

Speaking of Strad violins Furber said : " Rough, rough
linings, but they look as if they grew together."

One day my cousin called and Furber, on opening the door,
before saying " How do you do ? " or any word of greeting,
said very quietly:

" The dog is dead."

My cousin, having said what he thought sufficient, took up
a violin and played a few notes. Furber evidently did not like
it. Rose, the dog, was still unburied ; she was laid out in that
very room. My cousin stopped. Then Mrs. Furber came in.

R. R W. "I am very sorry, Mrs. Furber, to hear about
Rose."

Mrs. F. f' Well, yes sir.   But I suppose it is all for the best."

R, E. W. "I am afraid you will miss her a great deal."

Mrs. F. "No doubt we shall, sir; but you see she is only
gone a little while before us."

R. E. W. " Oh, Mrs. Furber, I hope a good long while."

Mrs. F. (brightening). " Well, yes sir, I don't want to go
just yet, though Mr. Furber does say it is a happy thing to
die."